Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : A pretreatment of lignocellulosic materials with sodium hypochlorite-hypochlorous acid at controlled pH (between 7 and 9) considerably increases the accessibility of the cellulosic part of the substrate to chemical and biochemical reactants. As a consequence, the yield and rate of the enzymatic hydrolysis to glucose is largely in creased. Wheat straw and spruce sawdust have been investigated. The increase in accessibility is assigned to degradation and (or) de tachment of the lignin network. The loss in cellulose and hemicellulose is not important, lignin being preferentially degraded under carefully controlled pH conditions. When applied to pure cel lulose, the pretreatment decreases the yield of enzymatic hydrolysis; in the absence of lignin, oxidation of the anhydroglucose units is im portant and results in the inhibition of the enzymatic hydrolysis. © 1985 Humana Press Inc.